2013-04-04 / News

Talk tolls with RITBA officials


The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority is hosting an informal meet-and-greet on Saturday, April 6 at Roger Williams Bay Point Inn in Portsmouth. 
Photo by Jeff mcdonough The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority is hosting an informal meet-and-greet on Saturday, April 6 at Roger Williams Bay Point Inn in Portsmouth. Photo by Jeff mcdonough On Saturday, April 6, officials from the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will be on hand to hear input and provide information about its process for setting toll rates.

RITBA will host two open houses: one from 9 a.m. to noon, and then another from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Roger Williams University Bay Point Inn and Conference Center, 144 Anthony Road, Portsmouth. Additionally, RITBA will host a virtual meeting and video conference on Google Plus from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. as another avenue for residents to discuss details with authority officials. Visit RITBA. org for details.

“As we have done in the past when considering new tolls or increasing existing tolls,” said David Darlington of RITBA, “we would like the public to have the opportunity to provide their input about tolling and the types of discounts to be offered, and to learn how the board determines the rates based on financial need.”

The workshop will be casual, with no formal speaking program or presentation.

Darlington said tolling will likely begin in July, subject to approval by the Federal Highway Administration.

RITBA hired Jacobs Engineering Group of New York City to complete a toll-rate study. The report is posted on the authority’s website and the most likely tolling scenarios will be posted on presentation boards for review. Each of the scenarios developed by Jacobs includes reduced rates available for those who qualify for and own state E-ZPass transponders.

“The RITBA board will strive to set tolls that provide discounts for commuters with Rhode Island E-ZPass transponders while at the same time provide sufficient revenue to support the operations, maintenance and capital improvement requirements of the new four-bridge system,” said Darlington.

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority was created in 1954 by the Rhode Island General Assembly as a body corporate and politic, with powers to construct, acquire, maintain and operate bridge projects as defined by law. The authority has no stockholders or equity holders. It is directed by a five-member board of directors, all of whom are appointed by the governor.

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